Wegovy Australia Guide
As the rate of obesity continues to rise across Australia, new weight loss drugs are being introduced to the market to help individuals achieve significant weight loss. One of these innovative treatments that could potentially revolutionise weight loss treatments is Wegovy. This article will delve into what Wegovy is, how it works, and how Australians can access this weight-loss medication.
What is Wegovy?
Wegovy, also known by its generic name semaglutide, is a medication originally developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, its high effectiveness in promoting weight loss led to its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2021 and the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in 2023 for chronic weight management in patients living with obesity.
How does Wegovy work?
Wegovy's active ingredient, semaglutide, works by mimicking a hormone in the body called glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that targets areas of the brain that regulate appetite and food intake. This medication suppresses appetite, leading to a decreased consumption of food and, consequently, weight loss. It is given as a weekly injection and is intended to be used in conjunction with a reduced-energy diet and increased physical activity.
How long does Wegovy take to work?
The time it takes for Wegovy to show results can vary from person to person, as factors such as the individual's body mass index (BMI), diet, and level of physical activity play crucial roles in weight loss. However, in clinical trials, some patients observed weight loss within the first few weeks of treatment. Typically, more significant weight loss occurs over several months of consistent use along with lifestyle modifications.
Fat Loss Medication Myths
Despite the advancements in weight loss drugs, numerous myths persist around their use. One common misconception is that weight loss medication eliminates the need for diet changes and exercise. However, drugs like Wegovy and Saxenda are designed to be used alongside healthy eating and increased physical activity for optimal results. Losing weight is a holistic process, and medication is just one part of it.
Another myth is that weight loss medications are a quick fix to lose a few kilos. However, they are typically prescribed for patients with obesity or overweight patients with weight-related health complications, not for minor weight reductions. Moreover, weight loss drugs are often a long-term commitment, and discontinuing the medication can lead to weight regain.
Wegovy Treatment Plan
A Wegovy treatment plan involves a weekly injection of the drug. It begins with a lower dose to help the body adjust, gradually increasing to the full dose over several weeks. The specific dose and duration of treatment should be determined by a healthcare professional based on the individual's health condition and weight loss goals.
In conjunction with Wegovy, a comprehensive weight loss program includes dietary changes and increased physical activity. Regular follow-ups with healthcare professionals are also crucial to monitor progress and manage any potential side effects.
Is Wegovy and Ozempic Similar?
Wegovy and Ozempic are both contain the active ingredient semaglutide. Ozempic was initially approved as a diabetes drug, while Wegovy, at a higher dose, is approved specifically for weight management. Both drugs are manufactured by Novo Nordisk. Although they share the same active ingredient, their dosage and indication are different, leading to variations in their use and effects.
Saxenda and Mounjaro are both new fat loss drugs that also operate on the same receptor (GLP-1) as Wegovy and Ozempic. However, they use different active ingredients, being liraglutide and tirzepatide respectively.
Potential Side Effects of Wegovy
As with any medication, Wegovy may cause side effects. The most common side effects experienced by patients taking Wegovy during clinical trials were gastrointestinal-related, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. These side effects were generally mild to moderate and temporary, decreasing over time as the body adjusts to the medication.
It's important to note that serious side effects can occur. These include the possibility of severe kidney problems, including kidney failure, and an increased risk of diabetic retinopathy complications in patients with type 2 diabetes. As such, a healthcare professional should be consulted if any worrying side effects arise.
How Do I Get a Prescription For Wegovy in Australia?
In Australia, obtaining a prescription for Wegovy involves consultation with a doctor. During this consultation, your doctor will evaluate your health status, including your BMI, to determine if Wegovy is a suitable option for you.
As part of Chronic Therapy, a telemedicine platform, you can connect with qualified doctors who can evaluate your case and determine if Wegovy is an appropriate treatment for your weight management. In light of this, we encourage you to book a consultation with a Chronic Therapy doctor to discuss if Wegovy is the right treatment for you.
Where Can I Buy Wegovy in Australia?
Once you have a prescription, you can buy Wegovy from a pharmacy in Australia. However, due to potential supply issues, it's recommended to check with your local pharmacy about the drug's availability before purchasing.
How Much Does Wegovy Cost in Australia?
The cost of Wegovy in Australia can vary based on factors such as pharmacy pricing and whether it is covered by insurance. Currently, the medication is not subsidised by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which may result in a higher out-of-pocket cost for patients. Therefore, it's important to discuss the potential costs with your healthcare provider before starting treatment.
Is Wegovy on PBS?
As of the writing of this article in May 2023, Wegovy is not listed on the PBS in Australia. This means that the government does not subsidise the cost of this medication, which could potentially limit its accessibility for patients with lower incomes.
In conclusion, Wegovy is a promising new weight loss drug that has demonstrated significant efficacy in clinical trials. It provides a viable alternative for patients who have struggled to lose weight through traditional methods. However, it is not without its potential side effects, and its cost may present a barrier for some patients.
As with all medications, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before starting treatment with Wegovy. Chronic Therapy is here to connect you with appropriate doctors to discuss your weight loss options. Don't hesitate to book a consultation with a Chronic Therapy doctor to discuss if Wegovy is the right treatment for you.